No fewer than 79 nations have backed Nigeria’s candidate for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-general position, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Okonjo-Iweala made this known during a virtual press conference on Friday, disclosing that the 55-man African Union (AU) has officially endorsed her over her only opponent, Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea.
Okonjo-Iweala also claimed that a group of Caribbean and Pacific states have also said they would back her, bringing the number of countries backing her candidacy to 79.
She expressed optimism about support from Latin American countries while saying she felt she had gotten “very good traction and good support” in Asia so far.
“I feel the wind behind my back,” she said.
“I feel quite confident that across the regions, we will be able to attract support,” Okonjo-Iweala added.
The WTO is set to be led by a woman for the first time in its history as the race to replace Roberto Azevedo, who stepped down as director-general in August, a year ahead of schedule, continues.
President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier assured the former Minister of Finance that the country will explore every opportunity and deploy its entire energy to ensure that she gets the WTO job.
The President noted that Okonjo-Iweala deserved more support to get the top job because of her profile and diligence in serving the country and the world.
Okonjo-Iweala, a former vice president of the World Bank is one of the two candidates in the final round of the contest for the director-General of the WTO. Her only challenger in the final stage is South Korea’s Ms. Yoo Myung-hee.